National Safety Month: Preventing Workplace Falls
posted by TURTLE & HUGHES in Perspectives
Slips, trips and falls are the leading cause of workplace injury and death according to the National Safety Council (NCS) with 227,760 injuries and 887 deaths reported annually. No matter where you work - in an office or at a construction site - everyone should take time this National Safety Month to learn how to prevent falls. Here are some important recommendations from the NCS and OSHA.
Workplace Safety from NSC
The following tips are from a “5 Minute Safety Talk,” published by the NSC.
• "If you need to read something on the go, step to the side with your back to a wall before you start to move again.
• Watch where you are going. You need to be able to see changes in elevation, cracks or holes in flooring, and other hazards.
• Slow down and anticipate that other people might come into your path.
• Don’t let packages or boxes (in your arms) impede your view. It’s good to have your hands free to help brace yourself should you slip or fall. Plus, you should always use a handrail when on the stairs," according to the NSC.
• "Always wear the safest footwear for your work environment, whether that's steel toed boots or comfortable shoes with good grip," says the NSC.
Keep your Space Clean
• "Keep papers and boxes off the floor and out of walkways
• Make sure drawers are always closed so no one can run into them
• Keep cords properly covered and out of walkways
• Ensure proper lighting - if a bulb goes out, be sure to have it changed
• Clean up any spills immediately
• Never stand on a chair to reach for something high - get a ladder or step stool," warns the NSC.
Construction Site Tips from OSHA
According the OHSA , who held its National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction in May, the three steps to prevent falls at a construction site are "Plan. Provide. Train."
1. PLAN: "When working from heights, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task," according to OSHA.
2. PROVIDE: "Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear," OSHA advises.
3. TRAIN: "Every worker should be trained on proper set-up and safe use of equipment they use on the job. Employers must train workers in recognizing hazards on the job," states OSHA. You can find free educational material from OSHA on their website.
Safety is everyone's responsibility. Keep these tips top-of-mind this month and throughout the year to ensure that everybody on your team is out of harm's way.
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